Keeping your clients' lawns healthy during periods of intense heat is no simple task. But some of these tips should help.
One of the most important practices to keep in mind during this heat is to keep your customer’s landscape well hydrated.
“The best way to battle a heat wave is to be smart about how and when you irrigate your plants, trees and lawns,” Matthew Dickens, Valencia Water Company’s resource conservation manager, told SCVnews.com. “It’s also important to know that if you have dry or brown spots in your landscapes – it likely is not just the result of excessively hot temperatures.”
Experts say that banking water in the soil using a cycle-and-soak schedule (running the irrigation system for about five minutes, waiting an hour and then repeating) will help ensure that water reaches the proper depths of the landscape.
Properly saturated soil will give plants the water they need throughout the day without contributing to the irrigation runoff.
Sprinkler use, when to water
If you spot brown areas in your customer’s landscape, that usually means there is a lack of adequate irrigation coverage. To ensure all areas of the landscape are irrigated, adjust sprinkler positions or use a hose with a nozzle that shuts off to apply water directly to the brown areas.
To add more water to the landscape, adjust sprinkler times, but remember when the weather returns to normal temperatures to reduce the watering times. Watering before sunrise or after the sun has set can help you avoid unnecessary evaporation losses.
Adding more coverage
Before adding any extra sprinklers, etc. to your customer’s landscape, inspect it as a whole to make sure everything is working correctly with the irrigation. If you find there are issues, consider adding drip feeders or spray heads to ensure full coverage.
To keep water from running onto sidewalks and driveways, avoid over-spraying the landscape. Don’t forget to tend to the isolated trees in the yard as well; they will also require a thorough soaking.
Don’t cut grass too short
When grass is allowed to grow just a little taller, the roots are able to grow longer as well. During the hot days of summer, that length will allow the roots to reach down into the soil for moisture.
Microbes in the soil have processed most of the nutrients for the lawn to absorb within six to eight weeks of feeding. So be sure to replenish these nutrients regularly. A well-fed lawn will come in thick and will cool the soil by crowding out weeds, which can help it beat the heat.